Blaine officer Balmer to retire after 20 years of service
By Dan Balmer
On April 30, Doug Balmer will patrol the streets of Blaine for the last time as he is set to retire after 34 years in law enforcement. He has spent the last 20 years of his outstanding career in Blaine, sacrificing his own well-being for the citizens of our community. Being a police officer is a demanding job with great responsibility that requires organization, quick decision-making, conflict management, and good communication. It is a profession that doesn’t get enough recognition and the admiration it deserves.
During his time in Blaine, Balmer has developed a strong reputation among the community. His attention to detail, caring persona, fair treatment, selfless attitude, and investigative skills have not gone unnoticed to the public he protects. He has seen it all from chasing drug smugglers, to educating students on the dangers of drugs. Balmer has settled drunken arguments, and taken down uncooperative drunks.
In a small town where everyone knows each other’s business, it is refreshing to have a police officer who cares for the citizen’s concerns to a point where they appreciate how disputes are handled. His calm, patient conduct has gone a long way in solving many difficult situations.
One of Balmer’s proudest accomplishments was his involvement with the Blaine school as the DARE officer for five years. He taught the anti-drug program to middle school students with the aim in making our community drug free. Graduation of the course had students saying no to drugs, and becoming better people for it. In 1991 and 1992, he was awarded Officer of the Year in Whatcom County for his work in the DARE program.
And in 2003, Balmer was honored by the FBI for his investigations and testimonies which led to the arrests of four people in two cases of telemarketing fraud where con artists stole an estimated 50 million dollars from hundreds of elderly victims. It was all thanks to Officer Balmer, who initiated the investigation due to a local victim who lost their entire life savings.
Over the years, the stress and repetition of police work can be unbearable, to the point where some policemen dread going into work. As a young cop with the California Highway Patrol, Balmer saw action everyday with high speed pursuits of dangerous criminals.
Policemen see the worst in society, and when you deal with the same situations after a long time, it can drain your spirit. Balmer has gotten to the point where work can be agonizing at a time in your life when you want to relax and spend time with family.
I admire my father for what he stands for as a police officer and role model for this community. He has taught me to treat everyone with the respect they deserve. No doubt, many Blaine citizens share similar sentiments and amusing experiences in association with him. The Blaine Police Department is hosting a retirement party at City Hall April 30, from 1 to 4 pm. The Balmer family welcomes everyone to join us in celebrating the conclusion of his fine career Saturday May 17, at Peace Arch Park from 1 to 5 pm. Lunch, drinks, music, and a short video are planned for this occasion.
Congratulations Douglas Balmer on your retirement from the Blaine Police Department.